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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Now that we have fixed our eating problem with our new puppy, a new problem has arose. She is scared of everything!

All she does is lay in her pet bed with our other dog. When we call her she comes but her tail is tucked in between her legs, her head is down, ears back, and her hind end lowered. When me or my fiance go to pet her she lowers her head like shes scared, and she walks away. She wont really play with us either.

We just recently taught her how to sit but when we give her the command to do so gets so frightened.

We havent even seen her tail wag yet, its been six days since we adopted her. Any suggestions?

Thanks a lot!
 

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...its been six days since we adopted her. Any suggestions?
That could be the explanation. It takes some dogs a long time to figure out that you're not going to kill and eat them. My pup came home, looked around, and seemed to say: "Nice place. If you're lucky, I'll let you stay here.". I've had other pups that took a week or more to come out of a severe depression upon arriving in their new home.

The best thing you can do is ignore the pup, and let her come to you.
 

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Sounds normal. You've taken her out of a familiar situation and put her into a completely foreign environment. She hasn't had time to get used to anything yet. Give it a week or two. How old is your pup?
 

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She'll come around soon, sometimes it just takes a little time. How old is the pup? Another thing you could do is always have small treats available, like hot dog bits, and treat the pup for just about anything you like. If you sit by the pup, and the pup gets up, praise and treat. Then just sit there, and if the pup comes back to you, praise and treat again. Can also play the game of chase, where you toss the treat and let the dog chase the treat and eat it, praising her. What you want to do is build her confidence, and the best way of doing that is through praise, and treats help too. Don't use any corrections in the beginning, just praise and treat for anything good. And most importantly, don't force the pup to do anything, like forcing it to lay down, or to sit. Any training, until the dog has built up confidence, should be positive only.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Sounds normal. You've taken her out of a familiar situation and put her into a completely foreign environment. She hasn't had time to get used to anything yet. Give it a week or two. How old is your pup?
I figured that she was just nervous...but I wanted some other thoughts. She is about 4-5 months old.
 

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I adopted my dog when he was 6 months old....he was a bit skiddish at first...the 1st morning when I woke up, I found him in the tub in my dark bathroom, just sitting there (I guess he felt safe there)

He was a bit large at 6 months, so I couldn't cuddle him in my lap -- so I held onto his collar and petted him & sang to him....at first for about 2 minutes or so, and then a little longer -- at first when I let go of the collar he would run to his bed --- eventually he didn't run anymore ---

He still loves to be sung to -- his favorite is Somewhere over the Rainbow:)
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
I adopted my dog when he was 6 months old....he was a bit skiddish at first...the 1st morning when I woke up, I found him in the tub in my dark bathroom, just sitting there (I guess he felt safe there)

He was a bit large at 6 months, so I couldn't cuddle him in my lap -- so I held onto his collar and petted him & sang to him....at first for about 2 minutes or so, and then a little longer -- at first when I let go of the collar he would run to his bed --- eventually he didn't run anymore ---

He still loves to be sung to -- his favorite is Somewhere over the Rainbow:)
Thats the cutest thing ive ever heard.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
How did you train your pup to sit. Just curious.
well we tried to avoid using treats because we didnt want her to only do it when we had something she wanted, we want her to do it when we want her to do it a know...

but to train her to sit we said her name "jaida" followed by the command "sit" then gently pushed her butt down or tapped it very lightly until she sat. Once she sat we gave lots of praise and affection. She got the hang of it for the most part but I'm beginning to think she was obeying the command out of fear, but I know she is a pup in a new place so I can't really tell.

We still need further work with the sit as she doesnt always follow the command. We are never gruff or mean sounding when we tell her to sit but anyways, like I said we are going to work with her more so if there is a better way to go about her sitting, please let us know.

thanks
 

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well we tried to avoid using treats because we didnt want her to only do it when we had something she wanted, we want her to do it when we want her to do it a know...

but to train her to sit we said her name "jaida" followed by the command "sit" then gently pushed her butt down or tapped it very lightly until she sat. Once she sat we gave lots of praise and affection. She got the hang of it for the most part but I'm beginning to think she was obeying the command out of fear, but I know she is a pup in a new place so I can't really tell.

We still need further work with the sit as she doesnt always follow the command. We are never gruff or mean sounding when we tell her to sit but anyways, like I said we are going to work with her more so if there is a better way to go about her sitting, please let us know.

thanks
Using lures and treats are highly effective when it comes to training dogs. Used properly, you won't need them once they understand the command. Physically putting a dog into a position is not the most effective way of training.
 

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We've had our dog for about 3 weeks now and it took her a full 2 weeks to start feeling comfortable with us. I think it just takes them a while to adjust to their new surroundings. I would just let her stay in the bed with your other dog where she feels safe and eventually she'll venture out when she feels comfortable.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
We've had our dog for about 3 weeks now and it took her a full 2 weeks to start feeling comfortable with us. I think it just takes them a while to adjust to their new surroundings. I would just let her stay in the bed with your other dog where she feels safe and eventually she'll venture out when she feels comfortable.
Yeah, it seemed the bed was the ONLY place she would go. If we let her in from outside....immediately to the bed. After she ate...immediately to the bed, etc.... to the point that she was ignoring everone and everything else. We removed the bed and put it away to see how she reaceted, in hopes she would start "socializing" with us instead of us having to come to her. After we did this she was much more active, but she looked as though she was uncomfortable because she couldnt find a place to lay...well she started going to our other dog who was laying on his side and she would sit between his legs and rest her chin on his tummy and fall asleep almost sitting up. It was very cute but Im not so sure we are going about this the right way.
 

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well we tried to avoid using treats because we didnt want her to only do it when we had something she wanted, we want her to do it when we want her to do it a know...

but to train her to sit we said her name "jaida" followed by the command "sit" then gently pushed her butt down or tapped it very lightly until she sat. Once she sat we gave lots of praise and affection. She got the hang of it for the most part but I'm beginning to think she was obeying the command out of fear, but I know she is a pup in a new place so I can't really tell.

We still need further work with the sit as she doesnt always follow the command. We are never gruff or mean sounding when we tell her to sit but anyways, like I said we are going to work with her more so if there is a better way to go about her sitting, please let us know.

thanks
I thought there might be a tad of a starting/training problem there. Too much, too soon, you said you had problems with pup eating and it's not really necessary yet to push or start any training except housebreaking. You have plenty of time so relax. When you get a new car everybody wants to get out and drive it, you get a new TV you're switching channels etc. This stuff is not necessary with a pup, you don't have to try it out. Your pup is a living breathing creature that needs adjustment time. Puppie's egos are fragile.
 

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well we tried to avoid using treats because we didnt want her to only do it when we had something she wanted, we want her to do it when we want her to do it a know...
Nice thing about treats, you can always 'fade' them out once a behavior is learned. With or without treats, she will be doing what you want, when you want anyways. And if you combine treats with praise, then it doesn't matter what you use, as praise will be just as rewarding as a treat.

Puppie's egos are fragile.
Exactly.....

Just take your time. Let the puppy be a puppy, and enjoy life. And you can slowly bring in training as she matures. The first few weeks, or maybe even a couple months, should be allowing the pup to settle in, gain confidence, and become comfortable. This can be done through fun activities, games, etc, and even treats.

As for my Sonny, he wasn't afraid or anything, but took about 2-3 weeks before he started getting settled in, and took about 4 weeks til he was housetrained for the most part. He's gone now for about 2 weeks with no accidents at all, and he's now sleeping on my bed with the other girls at night instead of the crate, and no accidents on the floor. I also slipped in a little training now and then, informally, by just saying Good Sit whenever he sat, and now if I ask for a Sit, he sits. No pushing on the behind, no luring, etc. Just using shaping by rewarding when he does it on his own. He caught on pretty fast, now working on Down.
 

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my pup was also very timid but he warmed up quickly, one thing i made sure i so was when i went to pet him for the 1st few times i didnt pet him from above i brought my hand up from the ground and started to pet his underside 1st, until he warmed to the idea of being petted....try that if your pup gets nervous when you come from above
 

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Not wanting to use treats to train a puppy or dog always just makes we wanna shake my head..they are a primary motivator (dogs need food, water, air and sex to live and prosper in nature) and a highly effective way of rewarding a dog for performing a behaviour. Behaviours that are rewarded occur more frequently, once the behaviour is learned and proofed the food rewards can be put on a variable schedule and eventually phased out completely (though I don't do it personally, believe me, the amount of work Cracker and I do deserves a bit of a paycheque!)

The chances are that by using "force" (and even a gentle push is FORCE) to get a sit in a dog that has no previous relationship with you (and therefore no trust in you yet) has probably increased her discomfort with you rather than build confidence in you. The head down, turned away, slinking behaviour is fearful and insecure behaviour.

Everything she does at this point that is remotely acceptable (making eye contact with you, laying nearby, sniffing you) should be rewarded with a very tiny and very yummy tidbit. This is about her relating YOU with good things and for dogs food (especially high value food like hotdog slices or tiny bits of chicken) is a very good thing.

Some myths related to treats as rewards:

1/ my dog will never perform the behaviour without a treat or seeing the treat.
Truth: Properly trained, fading the lure, adding the cue and proofing the behaviour removes the need to continually show the food.

2/I am worried my dog will become fat.
Truth: the reward is supposed to be MINISCULE, smaller than the nail on your pinkie finger. For easy behaviours in low distraction environments you can even use part of her meal kibble to train, do the training before dinner when they are hungry and then feed the rest at dinner time.

3/He should perform the behaviour because he wants to please me.
Truth: Dogs are innocently selfish. They do WHAT WORKS for them, not what works for you. This is why you teach them that doing what YOU like earns them something that THEY like. It's a win win. The converse of this is if they are doing something ANYTHING then it works for them. If it's something you do not like you have to work out in your head what it is that is working for them, find a way to remove the intrinsic reward and to exchange the behaviour for something else in a rewarding way to the dog.

3/Food treats are bribing the dog.
Truth: Bullpucky. I don't work for free and neither does my dog. Luring incorrectly could be considered a bribe but that is the error of the trainer, not the fault of the reward.

4/I will have to use treats forever.
Truth: once a behaviour is learned and your dog matures and figures out that doing what you ask is rewarding you can switch up rewards to other things (providing the dog finds it rewarding, each one is different.) A schutzhund dog's reward is to bite the bumper, a hunting dog's reward is to flush and retrieve the bird, a scenthound's reward is to get a chance to follow a scent or tree a raccoon, the herding dog gets released to run the sheep...your dog's reward may be a game of tug, a throw of a ball, being let off leash, having the door open to the backyard or even a chance to train some more (hello border collies!).

I think you may find that this little dog has a lot to teach you about dog behaviour and about training methods. I know mine did.
 
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